Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Harris County to raze "old" jail

Harris County commissioners today accepted a report from architecture firm PGAL that recommends tearing down the eyesore that is 1301 Franklin. The building was erected in 1980 to serve as the county jail but jail operations were moved to 1200 Baker in 2002 after the building failed a Texas Commission on Jail Standards review due to its faulty smoke removal system.

The firm estimated it would cost $37 million to renovate the building and $4.4 million just to bring it into compliance with the city fire code.

Due to the sheer size and construction type of the existing building and its inherent code deficiencies, the overall renovation costs add a significant premium to any of the proposed uses. The result is that the proposed renovated space is not only less efficient but it is also more costly than the construction of new comparable space. Since no suitable use can be found for the building that is economically viable, the building should be demolished and the site utilized for another function. -- PGAL report.

Oh, the efficiencies of local government. An ugly, massive concrete structure that couldn't even serve it only purpose. And these are the folks that want us to approve construction of a new jail.

All I ask is that the county hire a demolition firm that will implode the building so that we can at least get a good show.

1 comment:

Thomas Hobbes said...

You also might ask that - given their track record - they do no harm to the nearby parking garage, Civil Justice Center, or Criminal Justice Center.

However, it's okay if they drop it into the space where they're building the underground Jury Assembly facility a block or so from the nearest bayou. That plan sorta gives a whole new meaning to the term "jury pool."